So, you’ve found a newsgroup posting that interests you. Apparently she’s got the skills, understands the lingo, seems articulate…But don’t jump the gun. Check her out a bit first. Think of it as a pre-screening. Author-profiling is a great way to see who has said what. It’s a statistical summary of articles originating from a particularly identified person. This helps you decide whether postings are from reliable sources; it’s a multi-step process. For instance, let’s say you found a resume or an interesting post from Jane Doe. Go to the Power Search page, leave the “Search For” box blank, but put in at least a partial e-mail address for Ms. Doe. This brings back a listing of all the postings made by anyone who has “Doe” in their e-mail name. (For more information, see last week’s issue on “Didja Know of DejaNews”. You could then read what the person has posted and where. But, to save time, click on one of the postings. To the right of the screen you’ll find a link to author-profiling. Clicking on it will give you the number of postings the person has made and where they were made-almost makes spying seem easy. USENET II – FOR THE SERIOUS USER If you’ve been to the newsgroups you probably know there’s a great deal of spam, off-topic postings, and commercialization. Certainly, this takes away from your ability to efficiently find people you need. Passing by all the spam is often time-consuming, particularly as spammers have become better writers. You now have a choice. You can try out Usenet II (UII), which tries to deal with some of those problems. It has carved out a piece of Usenet and made it subject to consensus controls. What this means is that a newsgroup can become part of Usenet II by being a “sound” site-one that has no spam but has content. Clearly this is a controlling step. Groups are determining what can and can not pass through. However, no matter where you fall on the side of control of the Internet, having two Usenet sources to troll can’t be all bad. For further information, see Usenet II, which offers a clear explanation of acceptable policies as well as a listing of which groups already participate. Or, view a clear explanation of their goals.
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